Opinion 20-14

June 26, 2020

Dear :

         We respond to your inquiry (20-14) asking if you, a full-time judge, may serve on the board of a not-for-profit entity in another state. The entity’s mission is to promote “positive mental health outcomes in our oftentimes overwhelming digital landscape,” through educational school-based initiatives, public awareness campaigns and training for mental health professionals and educators.  

         On reviewing our prior opinions, we conclude you may serve on the board, provided the entity does not accept court referrals and is not likely to “be engaged regularly in adversary proceedings in any court” (22 NYCRR 100.4[C][3][a][ii]), nor to “be engaged in proceedings that ordinarily would come before [you]” (22 NYCRR 100.4[C][3][a][i]). You must, of course, observe generally applicable limitations on judicial speech and conduct, including the bans on fund-raising and giving legal advice (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][3][b][i]-[iv]; 100.4[G]).

         Enclosed for your review are Opinions 18-144, 12-156, 10-187, and 07-81.

                                                 Very truly yours,

                                                 George D. Marlow, Assoc Justice                                                                      Appellate Div., First Dept. (Ret)

                                                 Committee Co-Chair


                                                 Hon. Margaret T. Walsh

                                                 Supreme Court Justice

                                                 Committee Co-Chair